NJ Paid Family Leave Bill Signed into Law

May 5, 2008 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine on Friday signed legislation allowing employees in the state to take up to six weeks of paid leave per year after the birth or adoption of a child and to take care of an ill relative, Business Insurance reports.

The legislation would allow parents to take paid leave anytime during the first year after a child’s birth or adoption (See Family Leave Bill Gets Thumbs Up in NJ ). Employees can also take leave to care for an ill relative receiving in-patient care in a health-care facility or under continuing supervision of a health-care provider. 

Under the new law, employees on paid family leave would get two-thirds of their salary, up to $524 per week. Funding for the leave will come from a payroll deduction of $33 per year for each employee. 

According to Business Insurance, an employee who applies for paid leave will be eligible for benefits after a waiting period of seven consecutive days. Employers can require an employee to take up to two weeks of unused vacation time before receiving the paid family leave, one week of which would be used to cover the waiting period.

The leave will be fully funded through employee payroll deductions based on salary, with a maximum annual contribution of $33 per employee per year. The contributions begin January 1, 2009, and benefits are available beginning July 1, 2009.

New Jersey is the third state to enact paid family leave legislation, following California which passed a similar measure in 2002 and Washington state which approved a similar bill last year.